So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

This is my fond farewell to my Facebook friends. My identity was hacked through Facebook and with that theft we have been deluged by telemarketers in spite of the fact that we are on the Do Not Call list, and there have been a few transactions from my checking account that I never made.

Bottom line the calls have stopped and the checking account thing is an inconvenience. We went to our credit union and they immediately refunded our money. The real inconvenience is once our plastic is reissued I have to reroute bills automatically taken through that plastic. I’m good at methodically doing it but I’d rather spend my time elsewhere.

CatFish

Just for my old friends, one last stolen cat picture.

I think back to high school when I had a rare bit of depressing insight. I was walking down the halls, soon to graduate, and I realized that I was never going to see these people again.

Ever.

Unless I was already seeing them outside school, unless I knew their addresses and phone numbers, unless we physically spent time together outside the context of school, it was over. There were so many people whose antics I was never involved in but I enjoyed nonetheless. And so many others that I interacted with and had an insane moment of fun with just passing in the hallways or giving a teacher a playful hard time in the middle of class.

Gone.

I was right. I never saw any of them ever again. It saddened me most of all for the first month or two after graduation. Such a lonely time after seeing and knowing so many people on a daily basis. I still had a handful of friends, but most of them went off to college.

To state the obvious, there are a lot of people on Facebook that I don’t expect to ever communicate with again. I don’t like it, I have enjoyed our little community, but it was so very much like high school with shallow relationships and and brief sharing of fun and opinions. I guess shallow is the experience that Facebook imposes on its community.

Much of what goes on in Facebook is the posting and reposting of slogans and quotes imposed on a picture. Not anyone’s own carefully crafted quotes, but some canned meme from someone else. I’m so sick of it. What I absolutely hate is when the message reads, “Click ‘Like’ if you are for some obvious thing.”

Click “Like” if you are against cancer.

Click “Like” if you think people should not step on kittens just to see what it sounds like.

Click “Like” if you think Facebook imposes a superficial social structure that prevents people from actually interacting with each other in any profound and meaningful way.

I do not like being manipulated in that way. But that’s just the thing. Someone reposts some clever thing and I click “Like” and don’t comment at all. What the fuck is that? There is no depth and there is no interaction, but we pretend to stroke each other’s egos. The identity theft was the last straw, but the Facebook system itself has been rankling me for quite some time now.

There is a place online with much more depth of interaction. There is a place where instead of posting clever canned crap people have their own complete thoughts which they carefully craft into their own words. And sometimes the interactions there are meaningful thoughts traded back and forth. How can you not prefer someone bothering to write you a few paragraphs instead of clicking “Like”?

I’ve tried it here in the blogosphere and I vastly prefer it. As much as I will miss certain people, I also realize that almost none of my 50 friends on Facebook have ever once glanced at this blog in spite of the fact that I have posted notices for each of the 35 articles I have written so far.

So with that snub of me I will accept that those I have spent time with outside Facebook will continue to be a friend of mine and I sadly bid a fond farewell to those who I will never communicate with again.

It was so much fun passing you in the hallway and liking each other, even though we never really got to know one another. It’s time I graduated.

8 thoughts on “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

  1. I have been thinking many of the same thoughts. But I AM going to stay in touch with you and Cathy, because I have enjoyed getting to know you. The problem with physical encounters during this chapter of my life is time. While I did, indeed, play a large part in the necessity to continue working into my “senior” years, having two living parents not living with each other also plays a large part. But I hope to show up at your door (OK, I’ll call first) one of these days. Must say I was tempted to do that today when Cathy said latkes yesterday. πŸ™‚

  2. Nancy, you are one of the people whose contact information we do indeed have. As you have been in our home I most certainly expect to see you again and I look forward to that. Meanwhile, if nothing else, I have my blog and Cathy has her two. You are always welcome to stop by here for no reason whatsoever.

  3. Yes, what Jim said. We not only hope, but expect, to remain in touch with you. and I still haven’t made latkes, and it’s the last day of Chanukah!! Must make latkes…

  4. Well, I’ve read probably a little more than half your blog, and you won’t get rid of me by just dropping your facebookaaccount! And I hate trying to type in the car as we bounce along California’s crappy highways.

    • Thanks so much for reading my stuff. Strange how it was so much easier to visit while we were in Thailand than while we’re all in the USA. Maybe we could meet over the x-mas holidays at the Marriott in Bangkok for one of those delicious reuben sandwiches?

  5. Hi Jim, I am so sorry about the identity theft. That is just awful times 10. I get graduating from Facebook. I still don’t get it… I am glad you found a place that you can share creativity and that I get to stop by every now and then and read them. Lucky me.

    • You were my first reason for being so happy to have found the blogging community. You are becoming a mutually supportive friend as we do what we cannot help but do, create things and then share them with the world. I wish I could grab someone who needs a comedy writer so I could rub his nose in your blog. You have the goods.

      The identity theft thing is rather odd. Maybe I should formally write about it. Purchases were made from companies we have never dealt with and the items were delivered to our own home. That is not stealing our money, it seems more of a prank or a test by mysterious powers to see how honestly we would react. It is a violation showing me how vulnerable I am.

      • Thanks, Jim. I am happy to found you too. Well, because there is something so genuine about you and your writing. I must also say that you have given me the best constructive comments – like ever. You say just enough – to really make me think and I appreciate that and you and your brain. So thank you. I plan to be here πŸ™‚ As for the identity theft, I think I would feel the need to expose or investigate as much as possible. I would be livid. I get pretty pissy when people screw with what little money I have. It is *definitely* a violation. Anyway, have a great week! Cheers.

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